EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After finally winning a game at home, the New York Giants just might have a say in who makes the playoffs.
The Chiefs found that out Sunday as the Giants shook off weeks of turmoil and speculation that second-year coach Ben McAdoo might be on the way out and beat AFC West-leading Kansas 12-9 on a 23-yard field goal by struggling rookie placekicker Aldrick Rosas with 1:54 left in overtime.
Roger Lewis Jr. set up the game winner with a spectacular 32-yard catch after being pulling to the ground by cornerback Phillip Gaines on a fourth-and-5 play.
Had he not caught it, flags flew for pass interference.
The win was totally unexpected, considering the Giants (2-8) were accused of quitting in one-sided losses to the Rams and the then-winless 49ers in the past two weeks.
After giving up 82 points in those losses, they held the high-powered Chiefs offense to a season-low point total in sending Andy Reid’s team to its fourth loss in five games after opening the season with five straight wins.
The Giants intercepted three passes, including two by Alex Smith, who had only one in his first nine games. Steve Spagnuolo’s unit limited the Chiefs to 3 of 11 on third down.
“Definitely, a big relief,” said Giants safety Landon Collins , who had a game-high 14 tackles and an interception. “It was a big win. We have some pressure off our shoulder. We still have pressure, but to play a team like the way we did is awesome.”
The Giants have some big games coming up in the NFC East, with a road game on Thanksgiving at Washington and then home matchups against Philadelphia, Dallas and Washington in December.
The Chiefs need to get back on track. They start at home next week against Buffalo and have the Jets, Oakland, Chargers, Miami and Denver.
“We’re going to have to go look at the film and man up,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said. “Nobody is pointing fingers, but guys have to get called out and get told, you know what I mean? They have to be more accountable, and that starts with myself. We’ll just go around the room and sure enough, guys have to start stepping up.”
That’s what Giants did last week and it helped.
Five things we learned in the game:
BYE BYE BYE: Coming off a bye week always doesn’t work. Andy Reid was 16-2 coming off the bye in his coaching career, including a 7-0 mark against teams that have losing records. Didn’t work this time.
“We are going to take care of business and tighten things up in those areas so we are more disciplined,” Reid said. “That’s directly reflected on me. I need to make sure I do my job better.”
TACKLE FOUND: The Giants have free agent rookie Chad Wheeler his first start at offensive right tackle with Justin Pugh sidelined with a back injury. The Southern Cal product had an excellent first game and the Giants may have found a 23-year-old lineman for down the road.
ALEX SMITH: Smith believes the Chiefs offense has been out of rhythm for a couple of weeks. Smith, who finished 27 of 40 for 230 yards, said the offense just has not been getting started early enough.
“There’s certainly times when you look on tape and the smallest little thing, you could’ve turned into a huge play. If we would’ve just done this, if I would’ve just thrown this, all those things. I think they’re out there.”
JENKINS REDEEMS SELF: Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins took a lot of grief after the loss in San Francisco last week. He was beaten on an 83-yard touchdown and whiffed on a tackle on a go-ahead 47-yarder just before halftime.
He responded Sunday with an interception and return that set up Rosas’ first field goal and had five tackles and a pass defended. He also lost an interception on a pass interference penalty.
OWNERS INFLUENCE: Giants co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch probably deserve some credit for this win.
With speculation about McAdoo’s future just swirling after the losses to the Rams and Niners, they issued a statement Monday, saying that McAdoo would remain in charge through at least the end of the season. McAdoo responded by using almost every trick play in the book to get a win.
MANNING: Eli Manning started his 209th consecutive game, moving into second place ahead of his brother, Peyton. Brett Favre holds the record of 297. Manning finished 19 of 35 for 205 yards. Shane Vereen threw the Giants’ interception on the option pass.